Well, day 31 is finally here….Hallelujah! I feel the need to end this challenge by sharing with my readers a little about a couple of guys that I’m most grateful for. I like to refer to them as My Two Husbands: James and Jesus.
My blog wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for my husband, James. If you don’t believe me, feel free to rewind the clock two years, click on the link, and read my very first blog post ever where I confess that this was all his idea. I always wanted to write. I just never believed I should. I never believed I had anything worthwhile to say, much less that anyone would actually spend their precious time reading my words. To this day, I can safely assume that most of my own family (with the exception of my mom) probably hasn’t taken the time to read more than one or two of my posts. But I’m more than okay with that because James is my family. He believes in me, encourages me, and faithfully retweets me ;). In the past 30 days, he hasn’t uttered a single complaint despite being virtually ignored every night after the kids went to bed. For 30 nights I sat– my face illuminated by the screen of my laptop, my fingers pecking away at this keyboard–while he patiently flipped channels, crushed candy, or boomed beaches until I hit “Publish.” Most nights he was my very first reader. He would gently point out spelling errors or unclear thoughts and help me fix them before I tweeted it out there for all the world to read. He thinks I actually have a knack for this writing thing and he says it to me, out loud, every single day.
Lest you think that there is room for only one husband in a marriage, I can assure you that notion is certainly false. My other husband, is actually my First Husband, because I married my heart to Jesus long before I even knew James Carrabbia existed. If I have any talent when it comes to this writing gig, it’s because He wove it into my DNA. If I say anything moving or worthwhile to the world, it’s because He inspired the words. If my stories strike a cord with and encourage others, it’s because He wrote them long before my fingers were fully-formed within my mother’s body.
When I began this challenge, I thought I was doing it for me. But the more words I wrote, the clearer it became. This became less and less about me, and more and more about Him. Some of the things I wrote about for the past 31 days may not have seemed like gifts to everybody, but they certainly were to me. Each of them came from the palms of a gracious Giver whose heart beats undeniably for me. Recording His gifts strengthened my faith and renewed my hope. Sometimes the gifts felt more like sandpaper than silk. But when I disciplined myself to welcome even those with gratitude, I gave Him the opportunity to smooth out the rough edges of my faith. And then He could freely stain over my weaknesses, insecurities, and fears with His Mercy, Love, and Grace.
It turns out that the longer I focused on the gifts, the deeper in love I fell with the Giver.
Gratitude became more than just a mindset; it became an entire lifestyle. A lifestyle that transformed things that were once mundane and ordinary into my most cherished treasures. Slowing down to notice the gifts forced me to confront the love of a God who gives them so graciously and lavishly.
James gave me the gift of his confidence.
Jesus gave me the gift of James.
Both gifts came from the hearts of men who love & cherish me much more than I deserve.
So, having a ton of blog followers would be great. Having my whole family and all my friends faithfully read my words and be moved by them would be awesome. Getting my words published somewhere besides here or getting a paycheck to do what I love would be more than anything I’ve dared to dream possible. But if none of those things ever come to pass, I will still fall asleep and wake up every day next to James. He will continue to dream for me all the things I’m too insecure and afraid to dream for myself. And, together, we will still put all our hope in the Only One who promises to be our Anchor in the storms. This life, this family, that Jesus and James have given me inspires me to write my words and tell my stories, our stories. Those are the stories that I’m beyond grateful for, and they are more than enough for me.